Only Taylor Toyota is sold

The Taylor name will remain on the automotive marquee in Augusta.

A bid by a Wisconsin auto dealer for the Taylor Auto Group fell through, but the sale of Taylor's Toyota dealership in North Augusta was consummated this week.

The signs for Bob Richards Toyota went up on Wednesday. The Richards family already owned the neighboring Nissan dealership, and they have a Toyota dealership in Orangeburg, S.C.

The Darrow Automotive Group, which owns Toyota of Augusta on Washington Road, made a bid for the seven-brand Taylor Group in June.

Darrow could not obtain the Toyota dealership because Toyota would not allow one owner two dealerships that close, so it was offered to Bob Richards Jr. That part of the sale was completed Wednesday.

"We don't have a deal any longer with the Darrow Group. That deal is not going to take place," Taylor Group vice president Rick Taylor said.

The other brands in the Taylor group -- BMW, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover and Hyundai -- as well as a used car lot and a collision center will remain Taylor properties. Mr. Taylor said it will not be shopped for a new buyer.

"It wasn't really for sale when the Darrow Group came in and made us an offer," Mr. Taylor explained. "It was enticing and we decided to do it. Then the deal ended up not happening."

Finances were not the reason the deal did not go through, Mr. Taylor said, but he did not elaborate further. A representative from Darrow said the deal would not be discussed, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Mr. Richards could not be reached for comment.

Reach Tim Rausch at (706) 823-3352 or timothy.rausch@augustachronicle.com.

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